If you're a college student home on break, you're likely one of many who looked forward to kicking back and stepping away from the books all year. Alabama summers overflow with opportunities for having good times with friends and family. From sporting events and festivals to water recreation and more, there's plenty to do and much to see, especially for those who love the outdoors. It's not uncommon for summer picnics, parties and other special events to include alcoholic beverages.
Those of legal drinking age are free to imbibe, provided their location at the time does not prohibit it. As always, every person drinking alcohol is obligated to make responsible choices (especially where driving is concerned) to keep themselves and others with whom they come in contact, safe. Getting pulled over on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol is one quick means for bringing summer fun to an abrupt halt.
Different types of DUI
Driving under the influence of alcohol is a crime, not a traffic violation, even though charges are often filed after someone gets pulled over in a traffic stop. Once a police officer asks you to step out of your car, walk a line, take a breath test, etc., the stakes automatically get higher because your very freedom could be on the line. Understanding the law ahead of time and knowing where to seek support when needed may help you minimize a potentially serious situation. Following is a list of basic details regarding various types of DUI:
- Officials file most drunk driving charges as misdemeanors. Penalties associated with a conviction may still be quite severe, however.
- You may receive the opportunity to accept plea bargains to lower misdemeanors to infractions (the most minor type of offense).
- Repeat convictions within specified time frames could elevate a DUI to a felony.
- The circumstances surrounding a DUI charge could also increase the charge to a felony.
- You could face possible jail time even for a first offense.
- A DUI conviction often leads to consequences that include mandated DUI classes, substantial fines and/or suspended or revoked driver's licenses.
Although there are set laws and guidelines governing DUI matters, the court does have some latitude, considers each case by its own merits and may adjust its rulings, accordingly. Often, it is your word against a police officer's, not to mention chemical test results that the prosecution might wish to submit in court. Those who hope to get their summer breaks back on track often reach out for experienced guidance to help mitigate their circumstances.
A criminal defense attorney can advocate for a defendant and can challenge any evidence gathered outside the parameters of strict protocol, as well as any test results that may be faulty due to improperly calibrated Breathalyzers or other issues. An attorney who has a defendant's best interests in mind can work to determine the most viable option to help increase the chances of avoiding conviction.